Michigan Water Warning

The Public Interest Research Group and the Michigan Environmental Council have released a report ranking Michigan one of the worst states in the nation to violate the federal clean water act.

The report found that more than one-third of Michigan's largest industrial and municipal facilities violated the law at least once over a 15-month period.

The two groups blame lax enforcement by the state Department of Environmental Quality. A spokesperson for the DEQ says it has levied $4 million in penalties against water polluters this fiscal year alone.

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Clean Water Act

  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments were added in 1972.

  • After being amended in 1977, the law became commonly known as the Clean Water Act.

  • The Clean Water Act established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States.

  • The Act gave EPA the authority to implement pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry.

  • The Clean Water Act also continued requirements to set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.

  • The Act made it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained under its provisions.

  • The Act also funded the construction of sewage treatment plants under the construction grants program and recognized the need for planning to address the critical problems posed by nonpoint source pollution.

  • Revisions in 1981 streamlined the municipal construction grants process, improving the capabilities of treatment plants built under the program.

  • Changes in 1987 phased out the construction grants program, replacing it with the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, more commonly known as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

  • This new funding strategy addressed water quality needs by building on EPA-State partnerships.

    Source: www.epa.gov (Environmental Protection Agency Web site)